For Noodlelove Founder and CEO Natalie Camerino, building her business started with her roots. After a 2014 trip to South Korea, Natalie’s passion for food was ignited when she realized that ingredients and dishes could be combined to represent nature, well-being, and culture. Her later travels throughout Asia to Japan, China, and Cambodia provided her with experiences that reflected how food has the power to bring people together.
That inspiration fueled Natalie to create Noodlelove, a New York City counter-service restaurant serving up delicious, healthy food inspired by traditional Asian cuisines. Bluehost had the opportunity to visit her restaurant in the heart of NYC and sit down with Natalie and her parents to discuss the origins of her restaurant.
Drawing Inspiration From Food Memories
Memory plays an intricate aspect of how each dish is created and prepared at Noodlelove. Natalie wanted to draw inspiration from the experiences and stories she grew up with as a child in Lancaster, PA and during her travels through Asia.
“Travel was the literal thing that sparked my passion to create Noodlelove. It began in 2014 when I decided to travel to my mother’s home country of South Korea, which I was visiting for the first time as an adult. I realized I had a true passion for food that goes beyond what is on our plate. Every meal we ate was about sharing that experience with friends and family and connecting to our culture. I continued traveling to Japan, Cambodia, Thailand and all these amazing places where even if it wasn’t my exact culture or language I was able to connect with people through travel and food,” Natalie says as her parents share how her love of travel and culture was an integral part of her childhood.
Connection and heart remained at the center of how Natalie constructed the menu for the restaurant by sourcing ingredients from the farms in her hometown and combining them with the bold flavors of Asia to create the fresh meals at Noodlelove.
A Culinary Lifestyle Committed to Love
Noodlelove is transforming how food is prepared by using high-quality and natural ingredients to create their signature dishes. Whether it’s vegetable-centric cuisine, fresh produce, or wholesome food that is nutritious, Noodlelove stands by a culinary philosophy to create balance in each meal. Customers can look forward to local ingredients that are sourced from sustainable environments along with vegan, gluten-free dressings and sauces that are created in-house daily.
“In Korean food culture, everything you are eating and every ingredient has a specific meaning or significance that relates back to nature or culture. Korean’s believe through eating you can achieve balance in every meal. What that means is that each food has different properties, some foods are considered light, cold, and expansive, others are hot, heavy, and filling,” Natalie states as she shows us the various menu options.
“I feel that here in the US we’re moving more towards understanding those principles. We’re now looking at food with the lens of…Where does it come from? What is it made out of? How does it make us feel? Food as a medicine and food as a healer.
Connecting to the Community
At the heart of each signature dish is creating a unique food experience for every customer that walks through the door. Noodlelove thrives on core values like innovation, harmony, and fellowship that helps foster their desire to make a positive impact on people and places. This is reflected in the murals that are created by local and international artists she commissions. The mural is an extension of the restaurant and Natalie’s desire to provide a space that brings people together.
We call the street mural outside our restaurant the “Noodlelove,” wall in which we ask different artists to build their representation of what love means to them. The current mural is called “The Love Machine,” and was drawn by an artist from Venezuela. He described that on the side there are two portals that you can stand by to “Give love,” and in the center there is a huge arc with wings where you can “Receive love.” The idea behind it is that love is an energy and sometimes you’re in a position to give, receive, and it’s a reminder of how powerful love can be.”
This combination of creativity and love resonates with the concept that they want to make eating a memorable experience for everyone who comes to visit.
A Celebration of Connectivity
When customers visit their website, they are introduced to a bright header image that features different bowls filled with fresh vegetables and soft noodles. Users can scroll easily through various pages of the website that showcases each foundational element that makes up their restaurant. During her visit to Bluetopia, Natalie shared how the Noodlelove website was created a month before the restaurant opened and featured a landing page stating “Coming Soon,” to help market to new customers.
Noodlelove creates a personable and honest site experience that introduces who they are, what they believe, and how these elements contribute to the food before they show you a menu. “Our website is extremely impactful to our business because we’re still new and growing as a brand and having a website allows me to share my story in my own words and photos I’ve curated. It’s also been convenient to incorporate online ordering onto the website so customers can come and get their food delivered or pick it up in store,” Natalie states enthusiastically.
The menu itself consists of various noodle salad and wok selections that visitors can combine with their choice of protein while adding Banchan sides like bean sprouts, kimchi, seasonal mushrooms, and chili cucumber.
Noodlelove brings a passion and commitment to food that is savored in every single bite. Natalie’s idea to create a restaurant built on value and principles that evokes her life experiences has made Noodlelove an experience to be celebrated. Visitors will love the fresh ingredients and warm ambiance that Noodlelove has to offer whether they’re slurping on a “Tingy Tangy,” wok selection or munching on “Bun Cha Greens.”
Feel the balance and visit Noodlelove!